Oscar Frederick Mossberg at the age of 20 immigrated to the United States in 1866 and settled in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. He was known as a tinkerer and in a small boiler factory shortly after arriving here. In 1892, Oscar became employed with Iver Johnson Arms and Cycle Works and his mechanical ingenuity was put to work. During the year 1900, Oscar left Iver Johnson and moved to Hatfield, Ma where he was superintendent of production with C.S. Shattuck Arms Co until 1902. At this point in time, he left C.S. Shattuck and became a moved to Chicopee where he became a gun designer for the J. Stevens Arms & Tool Company. While employed with Stevens, Oscar designed his four barrel pocket pistol known as the Novelty and during many evenings, on weekends and holidays, he would produce this pistol with the help of his two sons in their barn. Approximately 500 pieces were manufactured from 1907 to 1909. Oscar finished his career with Stevens in 1916 and moved to New Haven, Connecticut and went to work for Marlin-Rockwell. There, he was involved heavily in Military contracts for machine guns and when World War I had ended in 1919, Oscar left the company at the age of 53 and started his own business with his two sons. Their first firearm was the four shot Brownie handgun which was a success. In 1922, a hammerless 22 rifle was added to production known as the model K. A bolt action 22 rifle known as the model B was added in 1928 and lever action rifles in 1929. A wide variety of rifles and shotguns continue to be produced today by this major firearms manufacturing company with the motto of “More Gun for the Money”.
In more modern times O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc., decided not to expand in Connecticut. Sure it was founded there 1919 and still has its corporate headquarters in North Haven. But in 2013 Connecticut rushed through legislation to ban some of Mossberg’s popular products. As a result, Mossberg CEO, Iver Mossberg, says, “Investing in Texas was an easy decision. It’s a state that is not only committed to economic growth but also honors and respects the Second Amendment and the firearm freedoms it guarantees for our customers.”
Mossberg has instead expanded its Maverick Arms, Inc. facility in Eagle Pass, Texas, with 116,000 new square-feet of factory space. Mossberg is not a small gun manufacturer. According to records kept by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Mossberg made 475,364 guns in America in 2011. Of those guns, a total of 423,570 were shotguns made for sportsmen, for shotgun sports enthusiasts, for law-enforcement and for people who want a shotgun to protect their homes and families.
More than 90 percent of Mossberg’s guns are now made in Texas. Some of its Connecticut jobs went there, too. Tom Taylor, O.F. Mossberg & Sons' senior vice president, sales & marketing, said, “We’re moving all wood gun stock production to our Texas facility. More of our product lines—like our modern sporting rifles—might move to Texas in the future. Texas has been very good to us. Also, our gun sales have been so dynamic over the last number of years. We’ve outgrown our facilities. This major expansion will help us keep up with demand.”
Mossberg is America’s oldest family owned and operated firearms manufacturer. It’s also the largest pump-action shotgun manufacturer in the world.
Oscar was born on September 1st, 1866 and died in 1937. The business is still family owned and operated. I love my Mossberg 500 shotguns and will pass that love on to my children.